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NFL Mock Draft 2.0

Matt Citak
March 18, 2019 - 1:40 pm
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What a crazy start to the NFL offseason.

Antonio Brown is now a Raider. Odell Beckham Jr. is now calling Cleveland home. Le'Veon Bell is on the Jets. Multiple starting quarterbacks from 2018 have been shipped off to new teams. 

And that's not even the half of it...

The first wave of free agency is now complete. While there are still some big-name players available on the open market, most teams will use the next few weeks to shore up the depth up and down their rosters.

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Lost behind all of the hoopla of free agency was the start of college pro days, meaning the NFL Draft is just around the corner.

Before Roger Goodell walks up to the podium down in Nashville, TN to announce the first pick on April 25, I will be taking several cracks at predicting how the first round might play out.

It has been nearly a month since my NFL Mock Draft 1.0, and as you will see, there are some big changes throughout the first round.

The changes will likely increase as we get closer to draft day, but one week into the official new league year, this is my best guess on how the first 32 picks of the 2019 NFL Draft will play out.

Enjoy, and be sure to keep an eye out for my NFL Mock Draft 3.0 coming soon.

1. Arizona Cardinals- QB Kyler Murray, Oklahoma

The Cardinals love for Murray is one of the draft's worst-kept secrets. Some may believe the hype connecting Murray to the Cardinals could be a smokescreen, but I'm not buying it. Kliff Kingsbury wants to run his offense with his QB of choice, and Murray is certainly looking like his guy. 

2. San Francisco 49ers- DE Nick Bosa, Ohio State

San Francisco just traded their second round pick for Dee Ford, and GM John Lynch is salivating over the thought of pairing Ford with Bosa. After having one of the worst pass rushes in 2018, the 49ers do a full 180 and form one of the NFL's most lethal edge rushing duos. 

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3. New York Jets- EDGE Josh Allen, Kentucky

The Jets will give Quinnen Williams a hard look, but at the end of the day, they will go with Allen. After Anthony Barr spurned Gang Green at the alter, New York has to find an edge rusher to pair with Leonard Williams. Allen will fill that void perfectly.

4. Oakland Raiders- DL Quinnen Williams, Alabama

Many people believe Williams could wind up being the most talented player in this draft. Williams is a versatile defensive tackle capable of disrupting an offense in the run game or by getting to the quarterback. Jon Gruden will be thrilled with this pick. 

5. Tampa Bay Buccaneers- DL Rashan Gary, Michigan

Tampa Bay has holes all over their defense and could go several different directions with this pick. However, the allure of pairing Gary with Jason Pierre-Paul to give the Bucs two talented pass rushers will be too enticing to pass up.

6. New York Giants- QB Dwayne Haskins, Ohio State

I'm putting Haskins to the Giants here, but by the time my Mock Draft 3.0 is released, this may no longer be the pick. I think there is a decent chance that Josh Rosen is traded to New York sometime over the next few weeks. If that happens, then Big Blue will go with Montez Sweat at six. Even if it doesn't, Dave Gettleman may decide to wait until next offseason to find the Giants' next franchise quarterback. But for now, I'm sticking with Haskins to New York (although I'm a lot less confident about it than I was in my first mock draft).

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7. Jacksonville Jaguars- OT Jawaan Taylor, Florida

Jacksonville went out and got themselves a former Super Bowl MVP quarterback in Nick Foles. Now they need to protect him. Taylor is massive, coming in at 6-foot-5 and 312 pounds, while also offering great versatility and athleticism. Taylor will help shore up the Jags' o-line in a big way.

8. Detroit Lions- EDGE Montez Sweat, Mississippi State

I listed Sweat as the biggest possible riser in my first mock draft, and all he did was absolutely crush it at the Combine. His insane 4.41 40-yard dash has skyrocketed him up draft boards, and now I can't see him falling out of the top 10. Matt Patricia will love having Sweat's explosive first step on the Lions' defensive line. 

9. Buffalo Bills- WR D.K. Metcalf, Ole Miss

Buffalo tried acquiring Antonio Brown from Pittsburgh before the star WR nixed that trade, leaving the Bills in need of a number one receiver for second-year QB Josh Allen. Metcalf's speed and size would be the perfect combination to pair with Allen's huge arm, and would give Buffalo two core offensive pieces to build around.

10. Denver Broncos- LB Devin White, LSU

John Elway is supposedly enamored with Drew Lock, so it would not be a surprise to see Denver take the Missouri QB here. However with Vic Fangio now running the Broncos, Elway will instead look to return Denver's defense to its elite status by selecting a stud linebacker who will lead the defense from day one. 

11. Cincinnati Bengals- OT Jonah Williams, Alabama

The Bengals defense has plenty of holes, and edge rusher or linebacker could certainly be the pick at 11. However, by bringing in Zac Taylor as the team's new head coach, Cincinnati will likely look to put an emphasis on the offense. Williams will help give Andy Dalton more time in the pocket and will pair nicely with last year's first-round pick Billy Price. 

12. Green Bay Packers- TE T.J. Hockenson, Iowa

It remains to be seen whether or not Jimmy Graham will be back with the Pack in 2019. Even if he is, I could see Green Bay wanting to give Aaron Rodgers another big target in the middle of the field. Hockenson is considered the top TE prospect, offering elite blocking in both the run game and pass protection to go with some of the surest hands among the tight ends in the draft.

13. Miami Dolphins- OT Cody Ford, Oklahoma

The Dolphins seem prepared to go into full tank mode this upcoming season in order to be in a prime position to snag one of the top quarterbacks in next year's draft. They will want some stability on the o-line before the QB is added to the mix, and Ford is a huge, athletic tackle that will make the Dolphins quickly forget about the recently-departed Ja'Wuan James.

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14. Atlanta Falcons- DT Ed Oliver, Houston

Oliver to the Falcons has been one of the most consistent predictions of the draft season. Oliver will provide Atlanta with an explosive first step that is not seen in many nose tackles, and will form quite the dangerous pair with Grady Jarrett in Dan Quinn's defense. Good luck trying to block that pair.

15. Washington Redskins- QB Drew Lock, Missouri

It is no secret that Washington is looking for a longterm answer at quarterback following the gruesome, potentially career-ending injury to Alex Smith. Case Keenum is a nice stopgap veteran, but Lock and his big arm will be the future of the QB position in Washington. 

16. Carolina Panthers- EDGE Brian Burns, Florida State

Carolina needs to do a much better job of protecting Cam Newton in 2019, but the return of Daryl Williams and arrival of Matt Paradis allows them to address another big need. Burns is another edge rusher that thoroughly impressed scouts at the Combine. He may not come in and rack up double-digit sacks as a rookie, but with the right development, he could become an elite pass rusher in a year or two.

17. New York Giants- EDGE Clelin Ferrell, Clemson

New York received this pick in the Odell Beckham Jr. trade, so you better believe Gettleman knows the pressure is on to add a difference maker here. If the Giants can land their franchise QB at 6 and still snag a game-changing edge rusher like Ferrell at 17, Gettleman will be dancing in the streets of NYC. Ferrell's explosiveness will disrupt opponents run games, while his pass rush moves should help him develop into a double-digit sack machine. If the Giants take an edge rusher at six, linebacker Devin Bush or an offensive lineman could be in play here.

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18. Minnesota Vikings- OT Andre Dillard, Washington State

The Vikings invested a ton of money in Kirk Cousins last offseason, and although the move didn't pay off in year one, there is reason for optimism. Dillard is quite possibly the best pass protector in the draft, and should give Cousins a lot more time in the pocket to read the defense. His run blocking needs some work, but at 6-foot-5, 315-pounds, Minnesota can't pass the opportunity to take a stud o-lineman.

19. Tennessee Titans- TE Noah Fant, Iowa

I had Tennessee going with a tight end in my first mock draft, but it was Hockenson. In this version, the Titans go with his Iowa teammate. Tennessee needs some playmakers on offense, and Fant is just that. The 6-foot-4 TE has strong hands to go with a great ability to make defenders miss once the ball is in his hands. His speed will make it hard for opposing linebackers to keep up with him, while his size will cause trouble for opposing safeties. 

20. Pittsburgh Steelers- WR Marquise Brown, Oklahoma

How ironic would it be for the Steelers to draft Brown just a month after trading his superstar cousin to Oakland? It may not sound like an amazing idea on paper, but the younger Brown's big-play ability reminds many scouts of his older cousin. Considering the hole Antonio left following his disruptive departure, Pittsburgh could use a potential stud WR to pair with JuJu Smith-Schuster.

21. Seattle Seahawks- CB Greedy Williams, LSU

With Earl Thomas leaving for Baltimore, Seattle's "Legion of Boom" is nothing more than a distant memory. The Seahawks will certainly be looking to bolster its secondary in the draft, and adding Williams would go a long way in accomplishing that goal. Williams combines speed and length with an aggressive style of play, which lead to the playmaker racking up eight interceptions in two seasons at LSU.

22. Baltimore Ravens- WR A.J. Brown, Ole Miss

It is clear that Baltimore's offense with Lamar Jackson under center will be heavily focused on the run game. However, Jackson will still need some big targets on the outside, and Brown is just that. The 6-foot-0, 226-pound receiver has an incredibly muscular frame that should make it hard for defensive backs to bring him down. He is explosive after the catch and should make the Ravens' offense a lot more well-rounded.

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23. Houston Texans- OT Greg Little, Ole Miss

Deshaun Watson is one of the NFL's most exciting, young quarterbacks, but if he gets sacked as often as he did in 2018, he won't be lasting much longer in this league. Watson was taken down 62 times last year, an unacceptable mark, and adding the massive Little should help keep Houston's franchise QB upright.

24. Oakland Raiders- LB Devin Bush, Michigan

There is a good chance Bush is not available at 24, but if he is, I expect the Raiders to sprint up to the podium with their pick almost immediately. After adding Quinnen Williams with the fourth overall pick, Gruden will be ecstatic to take the three-down, speedy linebacker with his second of three first-round picks, adding another playmaker on defense. 

25. Philadelphia Eagles- CB Byron Murphy, Washington

Even after Ronald Darby agreed to return, Philadelphia's secondary is still shaping up to be the team's biggest weakness. Darby tore his ACL in late November and may not even be ready for Week 1, which would leave the struggling Jalen Mills as the team's top corner. Murphy is one of the top corners in this draft and would instantly provide the Eagles with some insurance at the position in case Darby's recovery takes longer than expected. 

26. Indianapolis Colts- S Taylor Rapp, Washington

Between Malik Hooker and the recently-signed Pierre Desir, the Colts are well on their way to forming a strong secondary. Adding Rapp to the mix would take their group of defensive backs to the next level. Rapp would be perfect to pair with Hooker, as his strong tackling abilities would give Indy an excellent one-two punch at safety.

27. Oakland Raiders- RB Josh Jacobs, Alabama

After going defense with their first two picks, Oakland is jubilant to find the draft's top-rated running back sitting there at 27. Jacobs is a strong runner with excellent hands to go along with an amazing burst, and would be the heir apparent to Marshawn Lynch in the Raiders' backfield. 

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28. Los Angeles Chargers- CB DeAndre Baker, Georgia

He didn't put up his best performance at the Combine, but Baker should still be taken somewhere near the end of the first round. The former Georgia corner is probably the most aggressive corner in the draft, while also bringing a high football IQ and some great versatility to the position. Corner isn't LA's biggest need, but they can't pass up the value Baker offers here.

29. Kansas City Chiefs- DT Jeffery Simmons, Mississippi State

Simmons likely would have been a top 10 pick had he not torn his ACL recently. Even so, the defensive lineman should be healthy in time to contribute towards the beginning of the 2019 season. Simmons has incredible speed and first step movement, and has the ability to line up at several different positions along the defensive line. With the losses of Dee Ford and Justin Houston, the Chiefs will take a pass rusher in any form they can get it. 

30. Green Bay Packers- DT Dexter Lawrence, Clemson

The Packers did a ton of damage in free agency, adding two strong pass rushers and a talented safety to the defense. After taking a tight end with the 12th overall pick, Green Bay will add a tremendously large defensive lineman to stuff up the middle of their defense with the selection of Lawrence. Lawrence will be ready to step in and contribute on day one.

31. Los Angeles Rams- C Garrett Bradbury, North Carolina State

The Rams lost several key pieces from last year's offensive line and will definitely be looking for some replacements in the draft. While the top offensive linemen are all gone by the time LA is on the clock, the draft's top center, Bradbury, should be sitting there staring them in the eyes. Bradbury would be an excellent replacement for the recently departed John Sullivan, bringing some immediate stability back to the Rams' o-line.

32. New England Patriots- DT Jerry Tillery, Notre Dame

If Rob Gronkowski informs the Patriots he will not be returning in 2019, then I would expect Bill Belichick to snag a tight end with the final pick of the first round (someone like Alabama's Irv Smith Jr. comes to mind). But if Gronk plays, then New England will jump at the opportunity to draft the incredibly athletic and long defensive tackle from Notre Dame. Tillery is 6-foot-6 and 295 pounds, and would offer a great replacement for Trey Flowers, who just left to join Matt Patricia in Detroit. 

Matt Citak is a web producer for WFAN Sports Radio. Check him out on Twitter at @MatthewCitak.